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ADS says it expects further delays with Airbus A380 superjumbo program

European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. said Thursday it expects further delays in the troubled Airbus A380 superjumbo program.


September 19, 2007
By Carey Fredericks

PARIS (AP) _ European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. said Thursday it expects further delays in the troubled Airbus A380 superjumbo program.

The company did not provide details of the cost or time frame of the delays, except to say that it expects to complete a review of the program in four weeks.

"Continuing industrialization challenges with the wiring of production aircraft have been identified and are being tackled,''the company said in a statement."  Consequently, from what is known today, there will be further delays.''

Airbus has previously announced delays to the high-profile program, but has come under strong pressure in recent days after reports suggested further holdups were about to be revealed.

Last week, Airbus board member and BAE Systems chief executive Mike Turner said he believed more delays were likely. French newspapers reported Wednesday that some inaugural customers may face at least another six-month delay. Wiring problems were a main cause in slowing down the program.

Analysts have warned that more hitches could further shake current and future customers' confidence in the project. Airbus so far has booked 159 orders for the A380 but needs some 300 to break even on the project.

In June, Airbus shocked airlines by revealing its second six-month delay due to production problems. At that time, it said it expected to deliver to launch customer Singapore Airlines Ltd. by the end of 2006.